Reading, both for pleasure and for schoolwork, has incredible benefits on a developing child’s brain. From stimulating their imagination to learning how words sound and look, from boosting their social and communicative skills to expanding their vocabulary, the advantages are endless.
However, when it comes to deciding exactly what to read, many parents are hesitant. Should your child pick out their own books, or should you (or their teachers) decide what they read?
The answer is not easy. If you want to ensure that your children make the most out of their reading material, then it’s a question that needs to be answered. We are going to show you the pros and cons of both approaches.
Choosing Your Kid’s Books is Good
When your little one is just learning how to read and is perhaps not showing a preference for any specific books yet, it’s perfectly reasonable for grown-ups to do the choosing.
Both at home and in a child care setting, adults can encourage children to read by picking out the books that they think might interest them. Sensory, musical, pop-up, and lift-the-flap books are all excellent ideas to spark a child’s passion for reading.
Letting Them Decide is Even Better
Long-term, however, continuing to make reading decisions on behalf of your child can become detrimental. Little ones thrive on displaying their interests and showcasing their growing personalities, and choosing which books to read is part of this wonderful process.
Once they feel familiar and confident around books, you should try to gently push them to pick out those that they prefer. The results might surprise you. Did you expect your little girl to be all princesses-and-unicorns, when instead she ended up choosing to read about dinosaurs and space?
That’s great! This will help you, as well as them, discover where their interests lie, as well as what makes them happy, excited, and curious about the world.
Opt for a Balanced Approach
So, while letting your kid decide what to read is a fabulous choice, you still want to adopt a balanced approach, especially in the beginning.
Yes, it’s awesome that they are showing you how thrilled they feel when they read funny stories about monsters but try not to neglect the learning aspect.
Once your little one is in a school setting, they will need to adjust their expectations, as they will be required to read books that they might not necessarily like.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep introducing different book choices throughout their life. By doing so, they will feel free and confident to decide what they like to read, while at the same time embrace the requirement to read books that they might not be fully interested in.
The Ultimate Decision
So, should your child pick out their own books or not? As we’ve discussed, there are both advantages and disadvantages to both choices, which is why a mixed, balanced approach is best.
This is the approach we take at Grow With Us Learning Academy. Want to find out more about us, our vision, and our teaching model? Then hop on to our website, or give us a ring today.